Aside from the recently announced film Block Z, director Mikhail Red said his other big screen project Dead Kids is very special to him because he started it with his younger brother Nikolas. “Last year pa namin ito niluluto ng younger brother ko. We pitched it to Globe studios I think mid-year last year. We were very happy when they greenlit the project and they were ready to collaborate with us on this one. They also helped market my second feature film Birdshot so I’m really glad to be working with them again. It’s really encouraging as a storyteller and filmmaker to work with studios who believe in your vision and who know how to take risks when it comes to finding new stories for both the local audience and international audience,” he shared during the Dead Kids presscon in Quezon City.
The 27-year-old filmmaker said he has always wanted to do a barkada teen movie which was inspired by actual real-life events he and his brother have witnessed. “I would say it’s personal to me na a lot of the characters and some of the experiences are drawn from high school experience. I’ve always wanted to make a film about the Instagram generation at the same time I don’t wan it to be your ordinary teen barkada film. For me this is a coming-of-age film. It’s also a cautionary tale and then it’s a crime story in the age of social media. It’s a blend of different genres and you get to see the bigger picture and you get to see the intricacies of this generation. We want it to be very authentic, very unfiltered, but at the same time we want you to have fun while watching it,” he said.
With a young cast led by Sue Ramirez, Khalil Ramos, Markus Paterson, and Vance Larena, Mikhail said it will be his first time to have a cast composed of purely millennials. “It’s definitely going to be a challenge. For me it’s the first time that I’m going to be working with an ensemble cast, talagang group, maraming characters in one frame. You want their banter to feel very real and very authentic. It’s challenging for me because I don’t even consider myself an actor’s director. Medyo introverted ako. Dati I’m more of sa tech side, sa camera, sa writing and then now I’m tackling this. but I think it’s a good way to start kasi it’s something very familiar to me being a millennial and coming from almost the same generation, almost a few years apart lang naman kami ng mga actors,” he explained.
Dead Kids was imagined by the Red brothers as a two-part teen thriller. “Imagine the first half as a barkada dark comedy and then later on when they execute their plan it becomes sort of a suspense thriller. So it’s a blend of both. It’s something new, something exciting, something I feel like hasn’t been made locally,” he said.
Loosely based on a true event, Mikhail shared what the movie all about. “It’s about high school kids who decide to kidnap their classmate. In high school may social hierarchy so individually we all have our own entitlement issues and insecurities and frustrations and teen angst and lahat yun directed towards the coolest kid in the campus, yung alpha jock. So they decide to kidnap him and anak siya ng narco politician so sa minds nila it’s almost like vigilante justice. So they justified it and they extort money from the parents. Since they’re very ambitious and at the same time amateurish, ang daming errors sa plan nila and then it all starts to fade,” he said.
Dead Kids starts filming next month.